Don’t Take it Personally

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34

What other people say about you usually reflects much more about them than it does about you. Your reaction to them, however, usually says much more about you than it does about them. Think about the last confrontation you had. Instead of taking it personally, step back and analyze what really happened.

Say, for example, that it is late on a Monday afternoon. You’re traveling the speed limit in the right-hand lane on the freeway, and a car behind you starts honking. You continue to drive within the limit, and he continues to honk and ride your bumper. The driver of the car behind you is telling you by riding your bumper that you are going too slow. But what is he saying about himself? He’s saying he wants to disobey the law and he feels you are keeping him from it. By not being swayed by the honking and the tailgating, you are saying, “I’m not going to do what’s right for me no matter how much pressure I get from you.”

The man on the freeway was riding your bumper was probably not mad at you. He was probably mad at the authority figures he grew up with or the people he thinks limit him in his life now. But he is taking it out on you. Don’t take it personally. You’re a great driver of your car and your life.

Thought: I will not be offended today by other people’s problems. I have enough trouble of my own to deal with.


Say No To Shame

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.

Proverbs 25:19

The unspoken motto of many women seems to be, “Pour on the guilt and shame; I deserve it.” One of the biggest problems we face as women on the journey is getting rid of shame and false guilt. The sad truth is we often allow our loved ones to make us feel guilty and ashamed. And letting people take advantage of us is wrong.

On many Monday mornings, Marilyn would call her husband’s boss and tell him her husband, Dennis, was sick when he was really suffering from a hangover. On the few occasions when Marilyn would refuse to cover for him. Dennis would try to fill her with guilt and shame. Like Marilyn, some women allow their families and friends to bully them into taking on responsibilities that are not theirs or to accept the false shame and guilt when they don’t comply.

For our loved ones’ sake as well as our own, we must daily draw our boundaries to protect ourselves- and we should probably apologize to those we love for having taken away from them their opportunities to grow by bearing the consequences from their actions. Let’s commit our lives to asking God to help us resist manipulation, false guilt, and shame.

Thought: I will ask God today for His insight into opportunities to express my love by saying no in situations that will help others grow.